This was kind of an important game for the Mets. If they lost, the Braves would have extended their NL East lead to six games. A win would bring them back to within four games. You wouldn't have thought it so important after a cursory glance at the Mets' lineup card this afternoon, though. As Gary Cohen was quick to point out, six of the nine players had a sub-.305 on-base percentage: Alex Cora (.286), Jeff Francoeur (.303), Chris Carter (.261), Rod Barajas (.279), Ruben Tejada (.290), and Johan Santana (.152). Jason Bay was told to enjoy his bobblehead giveaway from the bench. Jose Reyes is on the shelf until at least after the All-Star break. Josh Thole took a dump on Jerry Manuel's desk.
So what's a team to do? Defy the odds and win the ballgame, I guess. Santana allowed five hits and three walks in seven innings, striking out five along the way and, more importantly, keeping the Braves off the scoreboard. Bobby Parnell continues to lay waste to opposing hitters, setting down Atlanta in order in the eighth. He has 14 strikeouts and two unintentional walks in 11 innings since being recalled from Buffalo. His success hasn't been of the smoke-and-mirrors variety this time; he's been legitimately excellent.
Francisco Rodriguez came on to close out the game and the first half, tossing just eight pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the victory.
Big winners: Johan Santana, +42.8% WPA, Ike Davis, +11.3% WPA
Big losers: Rod Barajas, -17.1% WPA, Jeff Francoeur, -0.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Cora RBI single in third, +10.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Barajas GIDP in second, -8.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +53.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: -3.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Alex Cora
Nice job by Gina; her effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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